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Queen Elizabeth national park.

With an area coverage of 1978 square kilometers, Queen Elizabeth national park is the second biggest national park in Uganda laying on the western arm of the rift valley. This park lies between lakes Edward and George which form part of the biosphere. This park is a system of contiguous protected areas namely, kyambura wildlife reserve, kigezi wildlife reserve and kalinzu wildlife reserve. With this diverse eco system the park supports up to 95 mammals, 612 birds and over fifty seven vegetation types have also been identified in this park. The park also Huber’s crater lakes, the kazinga channel, the ishasha sector, kasenyi fishing village, the equator and many other tourism features that you may come across while on a game drive or a guided walk. Maramagambo forest is yet another reserve that is under this park and is a home to giant rock pythons and bat caves that make this area so attractive.

A visit to this Queen Elizabeth National Park will lead you to activities like wildlife game drives, the boat cruise on the kazinga channel, the chimpanzee tracking in both kyambura and kalenzu wildlife reserves, salt mining in katwe, forest walks in both maramagambo and around the peninsula area, lion experience, bird watching and many more as these all depand on the time you have while in this park.

History

The area currently occupied by the Queen Elizabeth National Park was previously a grazing area for local Basongora pastoralists. When British explorers Stanley and Lugard toured the area towards the end of last century, both reported the area to have been largely depopulated as a result of cattle raiding (from the Bunyoro and Buganda kingdoms) and epidemics of rinderpest and smallpox. The Basongora social economy could not recover from these events and with the exception of remnant villages around the two lakes, the area was almost completely depopulated. Those who did remain were forced to turn to fishing. These events allowed the game populations to increase and vegetation to change significantly, and played an important role in determining the creation of the national park by the Protectorate administration. In 1906, the area to the north of Lake George was declared a Game Reserve, in order to prevent what some administrators believed to be unregulated hunting by Africans and Europeans and growing pressure for development of cotton and wheat production.

By 1912, the whole of the Lake George and Ishasha areas (Lake George Game Reserve) were declared restricted areas, agricultural and fishing communities moved out to other non-affected areas and the area was largely abandoned. Further outbreaks of sleeping sickness continued up until the mid 1930s. The National Park Ordinance was passed on 31st March 1952 and Queen Elizabeth National Park then, Kazinga National Park was legally gazetted later that year, following intense lobbying by the Chief Game Warden of that time, Bruce Kinloch, and the Governor. As a result, the land area protected within the Lake George Game Reserve area was expanded considerably to include a large area to the east of Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel.

Queen Elizabeth national park.

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